So when you can’t afford the targets, lower the standards.. A small fee for ambulance use would solve this issue… but overt rationing by co-payment is considered political suicide..
Target times for ambulances to reach some seriously ill patients could be lengthened, the BBC has learned.
A leaked NHS document includes plans to change the response time for some Red 2 patients – those with “serious but not the most life-threatening” conditions – from eight to 19 minutes in England.
It said the plans had been approved by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, subject to approval by ambulance trust bosses.
The Department of Health said no decisions had been made.
“The secretary of state would only agree to proposed changes that improve response times for urgent cases,” it added in a statement.
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham told the BBC Mr Hunt had urgent questions to answer, adding: “We need to hear from the health secretary today.”
The memo said NHS England had “explicitly stressed” the plans were confidential, adding details of the proposals “should not be disseminated beyond the group” involved in the discussions.
But the document, written by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) and dated 16 December, has been leaked – and one ambulance service director told BBC home affairs correspondent Sally Chidzoy the plans were about “political expediency rather than patient safety”.
The document said there were existing plans for changes “after the general election” in May.
But it said Prof Keith Willett, of NHS England, made an “urgent request” for discussions due to “unprecedented demand” on health services – and now the “target for implementing these changes is the first week of January 2015”.
- A&E has ‘worst week’ in England
- Ambulances ‘queuing for hours’ at A&E
- Thousands of A&E handover delays